Another entry to the Age of Empires series. Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is a popular PC RTS game by Ensemble Studios. The game features many different civilizations, each with their own special technologies and units, from about the same time period. The game also boasted a flexible scenario creator and several campaigns that let you take the role of famous the historical figures, Genghis Khan, Frederick Barbossa, Joan of Arc, Saladin and William Wallace. An expansion pack was later released with even more campaigns, maps, and civilizations called Age of Empires II: The Conquerors.
- Britons (Unique Unit: Longbowman) (Wonder: Aachen Cathedral)
- Byzantines (Unique Unit: Cataphract) (Wonder: Hagia Sophia)
- Celts (Unique Unit: Woad Raider) (Wonder: Rock of Cashel)
- Chinese (Unique Unit: Cho Ko Nu) (Wonder: Temple of Heaven)
- Franks (Unique Unit: Throwing Axeman) (Wonder: Notre Dame de Reims)
- Goths (Unique Unit: Huskarls) (Wonder: Mausoleum of Theoderic)
- Japanese (Unique Unit: Samurai) (Wonder: Todai-ji)
- Mongols (Unique Unit: Mangudai) (Wonder: Genghis Khan Tent)
- Persians (Unique Unit: War Elephant) (Wonder: Taq-i Kisra)
- Saracens (Unique Unit: Mameluke) (Wonder: Great Mosque of Samara)
- Teutons (Unique Unit: Teutonic Knight) (Wonder: Maria Laach Abbey)
- Turks (Unique Unit: Janissary) (Wonder: Selimiye Mosque)
- Vikings (Unique Unit: Berserker, Longboat) (Wonder: Borgund Stave Church)
There are four resources necessary to wage a successful war: Wood, Gold, Stone and Food. Wood is used for most buildings and some soldiers such as archers. It is gathered by having your villagers cut down trees. They can drop off the wood at a lumber camp, or your town center. Gold is used for payment. Usually this is used when creating military units. Otherwise, it can be used to pay for researching certain technologies, or constructing some buildings. It is harvested from gold mines. Stone is the least important, but still useful, resource. It's used for building castles and stone walls. It is mined from the few stone mines found on the map. Finally, there's food, the most important resource to any civilization. Food is used to create villagers and soldiers. It is used up the most and also easiest to harvest. Villagers can create farms, harvest from wild berry bushes, or hunt packs of boar/deer. If any of these resources become scarce, the player can simply create a marketplace and sell resources and sell surplus to buy what is needed.
Combat is usually close ranged. Close range units are the various types of infantry and cavalry. Infantry refers to fighters on foot. They are cheaper but weaker than cavalry. Cavalry refers to units riding on horseback. There are also ranged units, such as the crossbowmen and spear-throwing skirmishers. These units are weak to melee attacks and are best served as defensive units, or backing up a group of melee units.
For the destruction of buildings, there are siege weapons. These are destructive catapults and battering ram type weapons. The strongest siege weapon is the trebuchet, a slow loading, slow moving, giant catapult. Archers arrows are weak against all siege weapons.
There are different game types available to the player outside of the campaigns. The "Standard Game" mode allows you to set the map, the number of players, the AI difficulty and more. Objectives are changed depending on the game selected: You could make it so that whoever destroys each and every unit & building of the enemy wins, whoever reaches a certain score wins, whoever kills the enemies king wins, or you could even have a non-combat game where whoever builds a Wonder wins. These are only some of the game modes and options open to you before you start a game.
- Age of Empires II IRC Channel: #aoe2 on RTSnet